Farm groups and ethanol producers very positive about Clean Fuel Standard

The Canadian government has outlined its long-awaited Clean Fuel Standard (or CFS), which Environment Minister Catherine McKenna says will allow Canada to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 30 million tonnes annually by 2030.

A key piece of the CFS is the carbon intensity requirement, which encompasses all facets of biofuel production, measuring carbon emissions associated with not only consuming, but also producing fuel.

“Using cleaner fuels in our buildings, vehicles, and industrial operations is one of the biggest steps we can take to reduce carbon pollution and make our economy cleaner and more competitive,” said McKenna on Wednesday.

This appears to be a plan that agriculture and domestic ethanol producers can get behind.

“Anytime we are talking about promotion of ethanol, that is a good thing,” Debra Conlon of Grain Farmers of Ontario told RealAgriculture.

The petroleum industry was less than excited, as indicated in this National Post story. Tim Egan, president of the Canadian Gas Association, called for a “full cumulative costing analysis” of the government’s various measures intended to cut emissions, including a federal carbon tax, methane regulations and new building codes.

“Our initial concern is the impact of it on our customers,” he said. “How will all of this affect the energy bills of industrial facilities that need to stay competitive, or homeowners and small businesses trying to stay on top of rising energy costs? … None of this is going to be easy, and none of it is going to be cheap.”

The Canadian biofuel industry, represented by Renewable Industries Canada, was very encouraged by the Clean Fuel Standard.

“It is nothing but positive,” said RI Canada chair Jim Grey.

“When you look at the Ontario decision last week and the federal announcement this week, the carbon intensity requirement will be a limiting factor for the opportunity to increase the imports of U.S. produced ethanol.”

“The carbon intensity thresholds could be very positive for the domestic industry,” Grey continued. “We will be increasing domestic supply due to the carbon intensity requirements. The U.S.-produced ethanol has a higher carbon intensity due to transportation costs and the fact most U.S. Midwest plants are coal-power generated.”

Hear Shaun Haney’s discussion with Jim Grey, CEO of IGPC Ethanol Inc. and chair of the board of RI Canada on the Clean Fuel Standard and why he believes it should be looked upon very positively by agriculture.

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